ST. PAUL (AP) -- Mine Ener was one of Villanova University's rising academics, a Middle East specialist recently promoted to associate professor and busy at work on her second book.
But at home, Ener was a new mother who struggled with depression after her daughter was born with Down syndrome. She had been back at the Minnesota home where she grew up for about a week when, according to a criminal complaint, she used a kitchen knife to cut the 6-month-old girl's throat.
On Tuesday, Ener was charged with second-degree murder, leaving colleagues and neighbors bewildered and women's health advocates calling for increased awareness of postpartum depression.
"You feel bad as a community. You feel like maybe you could have been there for them," said Miriam DeRoode, who lives across the street from the Ener home.
Police said Ener gave her daughter, Raya Donagi, her morning feeding and then carried her to the bathroom, pausing in the kitchen to get a knife. Ener told police she laid the baby on her back and then leaned over, pressing the 12-inch knife's blade twice across Raya's throat.
"I killed my baby with a knife," Ener, 38, told medics when they arrived.
Ener told police that her daughter recently had a feeding tube removed, and breast and bottle feeding were not going well. She said she was afraid the tube, which Raya hated, would have to be reinserted.
It was a hopeless situation, she told police, and she didn't want Raya to go through life suffering. Ener said her husband and family were more optimistic than she was about her daughter's quality of life, according to a criminal complaint.
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